New Delhi - Batting great Sunil Gavaskar lamented a
"sad day" on Wednesday after Anil Kumble stepped down as India coach
over a rift with captain Virat Kohli, leaving the hot seat vacant once again.
Kumble said his position was "untenable" after
Kohli questioned his leadership style and told the Indian board he had
reservations about the spin legend extending his one-year stay.
Since Duncan Fletcher left in March 2015, India, currently
the world's top Test team, have struggled for stability with Ravi Shastri and
Sanjay Bangar both taking on temporary roles before Kumble's reign.
"I have very little knowledge about the differences
between Virat and Anil. But it is a really sad day for Indian cricket,"
Gavaskar told NDTV.
"India have won everything since the time Anil took
over," he added. "I can't see Anil doing much wrong in one year.
Differences (can) happen in any team but see the results."
India suffered a humiliating defeat to Pakistan in the
Champions Trophy final on Sunday, but Kumble also helped them reclaim the
number-one Test ranking and maintained an unblemished record in five Test
Former India captain and coach Bishan Singh Bedi also
signalled his disappointment, tweeting: "If there's more
intelligent/committed Crkt analyser than @anilkumble 1074 on Indn horizon (we
are) ignorant really!"
Kumble, 46, had already appeared headed for the exit after
the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) advertised for a new coach
last month, although he was an automatic candidate.
Former captain Virender Sehwag and Australia's Tom Moody are
reported to be among the possible replacements for Kumble, whose contract ran
out after the Champions Trophy.
Sambit Bal, editor in chief of ESPNCricinfo.com, said the
manner of Kumble's exit set an unwelcome precedent for Indian cricket.
"I think that sets a bad precedent really... it's
really a case where the BCCI has backed the captain over the coach," he
"The message is sent out to the next coach: fall into
line or else," added Bal.
A three-man panel of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and
VVS Laxman, who picked Kumble in June last year, will deliberate over Kumble's
As well as Sehwag and Moody, other candidates are Englishman
Richard Pybus, who has coached Pakistan and Bangladesh, former India manager
Lalchand Rajput and ex-paceman Dodda Ganesh.
An Indian Express column said the pressures of modern
cricket demanded a "strong chain of command".
"Giving veto powers to the captain and players over
coaches sits at odds with the direction cricket is moving in," the column
"Indian cricket has once again endorsed that captain is
more important than a coach," it added.